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Blue Water

starviking

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Does anyone have information on the "Blue Water" tactical nuclear missile that was developed for the British Army in the 60's?

IIRC it was an English Electric design.

Starviking
 

starviking

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Sentinel Chicken said:
I thought Blue Water was a nuclear-tipped ASM for the TSR.2?
There was a proposal to modify the Blue Water SSM for carriage on the TSR-2 as a ASM, I don't know if that reached hardware stage, I think the SSM did.

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slmvbs

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Hi you may find these links of interest -

http://www.skomer.u-net.com/projects/bluewater.htm - possibly the best site for british missile projects data

http://users.tpg.com.au/eedeuce/ - this site is likely to give some background to early development methods but i havent had time to check it out in full

also you may want to check ITN Source for British Pathe newsreels of the period and the following papers held at the national archive at Kew: Department of Scientific and Industrial Research: Aeronautical Research Council: Reports and Papers DSIR 23/30270
Test in 8 x 8 ft wind tunnel on a cruciform moving wing guided weapon: English Electric BLUE WATER (RAE Rep Aero 2664) .Date: 1963 and Ministry of Housing and Local Government and predecessors and successor: New Towns, General Registered Files (NT Series) HLG 116/127 Cancellation by English Electric Co of Blue Water nuclear missile project: effect on Stevenage; deputation to Minister Date: 1962.
http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/search/quick_search.aspx
 

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starviking

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Thanks slmvbs,

I'll start checking!

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Does anyone know what the planned range of the air-launched version would have been?
 

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You may find this link of interest

http://fuseurop.univ-perp.fr/bwater_e.htm
 

RLBH

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PMN1 said:
Does anyone know what the planned range of the air-launched version would have been?
Obviously, this depends heavily on the launch conditions. Using the simulator in this thread and the data from cardonet's link, I get a range of approximately 125 nautical miles from a launch at 35,000 feet and Mach 0.9. I should stress, that is approximate, and varies quite considerably with the launch conditions.
 

alertken

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sv: UK digested V1 (as "Menace") but chose in 1947 to abandon such things as being bereft of military purpose. In April,1957 Defence Minister Sandys, he that chopped much, having inherited a 31/5/56 intent to acquire 100 Corporal F for the British Army of the Rhine, funded a UK replacement SSM. The issue was that Corporal's W-7 warhead would be held by USArmy at Dortmund, to be trucked to the Royal Artillery if/when POTUS so determined. Sandys' SSM's warhead was to be indigenous, from the Aldermaston AWR Establishment already overloaded trying to deliver fission devices while grasping how to do fusion. Blue Fox/Indigo Hammer (6KT) was tested 9/57, intended for Blue Water, (ex-Blue Slug) Seaslug 2 SSM and Blue Envoy/Bloodhound 3 SAM. EE(GW) Stevenage was Sister Firm on Corporal, Prime Contractor on Blue Water.

On 4 August, 1958 he made the UK/US Agreement for Co-operation on Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defense Purposes. That ended UK's expensive attempts at nuclear design independence. With great relief UK moved to licenced/adaptation of US designs; Indigo Hammer lapsed. Corporal would be replaced in 1962 with 100 Douglas MGR-1B Honest John, also with W-7, also with EE(GW) as Sister Firm...yet in 8/1958 Blue Water continued. From its access to US data, AWRE was to attempt a "UK" warhead, so that BAOR could deploy a replacement for Honest John, to fire at London's, not Washington's Command.

In December,1960 Skybolt, core of "independent" UK Deterrence, was chopped. PM Macmillan secured Polaris. Dual key warhead controls were to govern Bundeswehr Honest Johns, too: US urged Sperry MGM-29A Sergeant SSM on everybody to “the tune of umpteen Mn.$”; UK declined as this was “not a European rocket. It’s a racket of US industry.” Mac was disingenuous on Blue Water: “a better weapon (but in 1962 it was still paper; political pressure on European NATO Nations to take Sergeant) was irresistible (on) favourable terms more common (for) washing machines (forcing) us to cancel (10/8/62) at considerable loss.” Mac, Memoirs/VI, P335. FRG took Sergeant; BAOR kept Honest John to 1976, then deployed 60 Vought MGM-52C Lance to 1992, US warheads for all at Dortmund.

Blue Water SSM's warhead was to have been a variant within genus WE.177, whose prime manifestation was to have been as TSR.2's gravity bomb. It is not clear that schemes for an (ex-EE) BAC Blue Water ASM for TSR.2 had funding or a warhead after (or indeed before) 8/62: PMN1's range Q may not have an A based on more than a sketch. (ex-Bristol) BAC ramjet X-12 Pandora ASM did have R&D funding, but no warhead, because, despite Strategic Deterrence going sub-surface, RAF blagged funds to retain a Task for a big gravity bomb. AWRE invented fusion WE.177B (deployed 9/1966, Vulcan B.2), which delayed/deferred fission WE.177A (deployed 6/1970 RN, 2/71 RAF Buccaneers). Blue Water/WE.177 would have been yet later; a "UK" warhead derived from US data could not have been supplied by UK to any export Customer, so total production would have been an expensive run of 60-100 for BAOR. So, chop Blue Water, enjoy washing machine terms for HJ, later Lance, inter-operable with, though subservient, to Allies.
 

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alertken said:
sv: UK digested V1 (as "Menace") but chose in 1947 to abandon such things as being bereft of military purpose. In April,1957 Defence Minister Sandys, he that chopped much, having inherited a 31/5/56 intent to acquire 100 Corporal F for the British Army of the Rhine, funded a UK replacement SSM. The issue was that Corporal's W-7 warhead would be held by USArmy at Dortmund, to be trucked to the Royal Artillery if/when POTUS so determined. Sandys' SSM's warhead was to be indigenous, from the Aldermaston AWR Establishment already overloaded trying to deliver fission devices while grasping how to do fusion. Blue Fox/Indigo Hammer (6KT) was tested 9/57, intended for Blue Water, (ex-Blue Slug) Seaslug 2 SSM and Blue Envoy/Bloodhound 3 SAM. EE(GW) Stevenage was Sister Firm on Corporal, Prime Contractor on Blue Water.

On 4 August, 1958 he made the UK/US Agreement for Co-operation on Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defense Purposes. That ended UK's expensive attempts at nuclear design independence. With great relief UK moved to licenced/adaptation of US designs; Indigo Hammer lapsed. Corporal would be replaced in 1962 with 100 Douglas MGR-1B Honest John, also with W-7, also with EE(GW) as Sister Firm...yet in 8/1958 Blue Water continued. From its access to US data, AWRE was to attempt a "UK" warhead, so that BAOR could deploy a replacement for Honest John, to fire at London's, not Washington's Command.

In December,1960 Skybolt, core of "independent" UK Deterrence, was chopped. PM Macmillan secured Polaris. Dual key warhead controls were to govern Bundeswehr Honest Johns, too: US urged Sperry MGM-29A Sergeant SSM on everybody to “the tune of umpteen Mn.$”; UK declined as this was “not a European rocket. It’s a racket of US industry.” Mac was disingenuous on Blue Water: “a better weapon (but in 1962 it was still paper; political pressure on European NATO Nations to take Sergeant) was irresistible (on) favourable terms more common (for) washing machines (forcing) us to cancel (10/8/62) at considerable loss.” Mac, Memoirs/VI, P335. FRG took Sergeant; BAOR kept Honest John to 1976, then deployed 60 Vought MGM-52C Lance to 1992, US warheads for all at Dortmund.

Blue Water SSM's warhead was to have been a variant within genus WE.177, whose prime manifestation was to have been as TSR.2's gravity bomb. It is not clear that schemes for an (ex-EE) BAC Blue Water ASM for TSR.2 had funding or a warhead after (or indeed before) 8/62: PMN1's range Q may not have an A based on more than a sketch. (ex-Bristol) BAC ramjet X-12 Pandora ASM did have R&D funding, but no warhead, because, despite Strategic Deterrence going sub-surface, RAF blagged funds to retain a Task for a big gravity bomb. AWRE invented fusion WE.177B (deployed 9/1966, Vulcan B.2), which delayed/deferred fission WE.177A (deployed 6/1970 RN, 2/71 RAF Buccaneers). Blue Water/WE.177 would have been yet later; a "UK" warhead derived from US data could not have been supplied by UK to any export Customer, so total production would have been an expensive run of 60-100 for BAOR. So, chop Blue Water, enjoy washing machine terms for HJ, later Lance, inter-operable with, though subservient, to Allies.
Hi
,,,,and Black Rock?
 

alertken

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B Rock: as Manuel said: I know nothing beyond Skomer's entry (undated SSM for Br.Army).
 

Spark

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alertken said:
B Rock: as Manuel said: I know nothing beyond Skomer's entry (undated SSM for Br.Army).
Hi alertken,
Black Rock; English Electric early field mobile nuclear tipped fast response surface to surface weapon with Westcott rocket motor and a range of 200miles. There was at least one solid propellant two stage missile proposal considered for Blue Streak this may have been an EE proposal but liquid propellants were considered best as Blue Streak always had a duality of purpose both as a missile but more important was the SLV part this certainly resulted in the EE Bristol/Westcott Delta 2 and Delta 3 work
A lot of early UK work is still steeped in secrecy but ICI did ground breaking work in solids.
Note according to a Ministry document held at Kew Polaris was made possible because of ICI work in the field, this gives yet another twist to what we think of the history of the subject. As I understand it Black rock was started well before 54 and Blue Streak.
May have finished with purchase of Corporal.
 

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Spark,

Are you suggesting that the Delta 2 & 3 were intended as solid fuel motors?
 

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sealordlawrence said:
Spark,

Are you suggesting that the Delta 2 & 3 were intended as solid fuel motors?
Hi sealordlawrence,

No, both were LOX/K, only that EE had a fund of large solid experiance prior to BS.
 

uk 75

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In the entry for Blue Water in British Secret Projects 4 the usual
Bedford truck launch vehicle is shown. However, there were also
proposals to mount Blue Water on the FV 432 tracked chassis and
the Alvis Stalwart amphibious vehicle. West Germany was a prime
potential customer, but opted for Sergeant instead. If the Germans
had bought Blue Water they might have fitted to it to one of their
own vehicles.
Senior British Army commanders were not all enthusiastic about
battlefield nuclear weapons (Lord Carver). Corporal was never replaced
in service, while the Honest John had to wait until Lance arrived in the 70s.
Lance was quite a compact system but short ranged.

UK 75
 

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spark: Black Rock: tks. You are probably right that it faded with nearly-free Corporal.
English Electric Co.Ltd. in 1938 was a powerhouse (Ha!). The WW1 sites that had built aircraft were less relevant than their production engineering skills, in causing their selection as a "shadow" site, to build Hampden, Halifax, Vampire. That caused MAP/MoS to encourage them to buy Napier (1/43), Marconi (1946) and W.E.W Petter (9/44) to set up a DO and scheme a purejet Speed Bomber. RAE pimped GW in ’48, urging firms to “detach some of your best men to work on something which is a doubtful starter, politically vulnerable, and perhaps even unprofitable”. EE was awarded one of 3 (to be SAMs), as the sole vertically-integrated Prime, provided that they “would not have to put capital into the venture”. In practice remote from Group kin Napier (motor), Marconi (guidance), their reward at (ex-Napier) Luton was to “put up their own buildings - or more accurately (of MoS, funding in 1953) the operation”, adding a new Stevenage site, later core (to be)MBDA A.R.Adams,Good Company,BAC,1976,Pp4/28/61.

MoS (probably) funded study there after the 27 February 1950 US/UK (“Burns/Templer”)GW data Agreement resurrected British Army SSM interest; quite logically MoS invited EE(GW) to take on the IRBM in late-1954. Chairman Geo. (to be Lord)Nelson declined and DH Props. took it. Probably: Black Rock studies then lapsed; nevertheless, EE became SSM Sister Firm and Prime Contractor for Blue Water.
 

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Stalwart/Blue Water in an ad in this thread.

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,4055.0/highlight,stalwart.html

Regards,
Barry
 

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alertken said:
sv: UK digested V1 (as "Menace") but chose in 1947 to abandon such things as being bereft of military purpose. In April,1957 Defence Minister Sandys, he that chopped much, having inherited a 31/5/56 intent to acquire 100 Corporal F for the British Army of the Rhine, funded a UK replacement SSM. The issue was that Corporal's W-7 warhead would be held by USArmy at Dortmund, to be trucked to the Royal Artillery if/when POTUS so determined. Sandys' SSM's warhead was to be indigenous, from the Aldermaston AWR Establishment already overloaded trying to deliver fission devices while grasping how to do fusion. Blue Fox/Indigo Hammer (6KT) was tested 9/57, intended for Blue Water, (ex-Blue Slug) Seaslug 2 SSM and Blue Envoy/Bloodhound 3 SAM. EE(GW) Stevenage was Sister Firm on Corporal, Prime Contractor on Blue Water.

On 4 August, 1958 he made the UK/US Agreement for Co-operation on Uses of Atomic Energy for Mutual Defense Purposes. That ended UK's expensive attempts at nuclear design independence. With great relief UK moved to licenced/adaptation of US designs; Indigo Hammer lapsed. Corporal would be replaced in 1962 with 100 Douglas MGR-1B Honest John, also with W-7, also with EE(GW) as Sister Firm...yet in 8/1958 Blue Water continued. From its access to US data, AWRE was to attempt a "UK" warhead, so that BAOR could deploy a replacement for Honest John, to fire at London's, not Washington's Command.

In December,1960 Skybolt, core of "independent" UK Deterrence, was chopped. PM Macmillan secured Polaris. Dual key warhead controls were to govern Bundeswehr Honest Johns, too: US urged Sperry MGM-29A Sergeant SSM on everybody to “the tune of umpteen Mn.$”; UK declined as this was “not a European rocket. It’s a racket of US industry.” Mac was disingenuous on Blue Water: “a better weapon (but in 1962 it was still paper; political pressure on European NATO Nations to take Sergeant) was irresistible (on) favourable terms more common (for) washing machines (forcing) us to cancel (10/8/62) at considerable loss.” Mac, Memoirs/VI, P335. FRG took Sergeant; BAOR kept Honest John to 1976, then deployed 60 Vought MGM-52C Lance to 1992, US warheads for all at Dortmund.

Blue Water SSM's warhead was to have been a variant within genus WE.177, whose prime manifestation was to have been as TSR.2's gravity bomb. It is not clear that schemes for an (ex-EE) BAC Blue Water ASM for TSR.2 had funding or a warhead after (or indeed before) 8/62: PMN1's range Q may not have an A based on more than a sketch. (ex-Bristol) BAC ramjet X-12 Pandora ASM did have R&D funding, but no warhead, because, despite Strategic Deterrence going sub-surface, RAF blagged funds to retain a Task for a big gravity bomb. AWRE invented fusion WE.177B (deployed 9/1966, Vulcan B.2), which delayed/deferred fission WE.177A (deployed 6/1970 RN, 2/71 RAF Buccaneers). Blue Water/WE.177 would have been yet later; a "UK" warhead derived from US data could not have been supplied by UK to any export Customer, so total production would have been an expensive run of 60-100 for BAOR. So, chop Blue Water, enjoy washing machine terms for HJ, later Lance, inter-operable with, though subservient, to Allies.
Ken,

D you know if the BAC X-12 R&D funding was private or from the MoD/Treasury?
 

alertken

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MoS in 1958, then MoA, funding Bristol(GW), then BAC(GW) as Prime, embracing its Bristol ramjet. I think work did not proceed beyond bench bits; MoA encouraged BSEL to attend firstly to Odin for Sea Dart. There was no point in buying a UK-solo ASM for TSR.2 if resource conflicts in AWRE might cause us to fit a US warhead - take a better Bullpup. Schemes of Blue Water ASM fell in same category. Work ceased, with TSR.2, by April,1965; F-111K would carry lay-down stores.

There has been minuscule PV in UK GW due to Export Licence constraints on sales. Can think only of early work on Vickers Vigilant ATM; on Ferranti's (Rockwell AGM-130, ah, influenced) ASM, PGM-1/PGM-2 al Hakim, and on MBD's Scalp-derived Black Shaheen ASM, all taken up by UAE.
 

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Thanks Ken,

Was the X-12 Pandora (or any other ASM for that matter) ever actually planned for the TSR-2, I was under the impression that the air launched Blue Water was never taken especially seriously and never received any funding. I thought that the only nuclear delivery option ever seriously considered for the TSR-2 was the twin internally carried WE177 free fall weapons with some consideration given to two additional external weapons following the 10kt tactical yield limit. Could TSR-2 have even lifted the X-12?

Beyond Blue Steel, Skybolt, and X-12 Pandora, did any other UK strategic stand-off missiles in the Cold War era receive any actual government funding or support? I am aware of the rather crude proposals bolt solid fuel rockets to WE177's and turn them into unguided ballistic missiles but realistically speaking these dont quite count!

And with yet another question, may I ask what your source is? One of my great criticisms of Gunton's work is his failure to discriminate between company sponsored paper sketches and actual government funded projects that underwent a degree of development work.
 

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Lawrence

You should try and pick up the Paul Lucas TSR2 book as that covers the various missile proposals that were mooted bassed upon documented evidence from the archives. (Some certainly appear to be very silly such as Slybolt and Polaris !!!)

However the restrictions of WE177 being a free fall bomb was noted and there were various developments for Air launched missiles to fit in or under TSR2 carrying a WE177 sized warhead. Paul's book covers them as does Chris Gibsons BSP:IV Missiles & Hypersonics. There was also proposals to have a nuclear variant of the Martel (Megaton Martel) as a method of stand off strike.

Cheers

Geoff
 

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Thorvic,

I have BSPIV, although not the Paul Lucas TSR-2 book, the difficulty I have though is establishing which weapons were actually seriously considered and actually received funding. Megaton Martel for instance, seems to have been only a very basic discussion topic leading to the solid rocket powered, unguided, ballistic WE177 concept.
 

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sealordlawrence said:
Thorvic,

I have BSPIV, although not the Paul Lucas TSR-2 book, the difficulty I have though is establishing which weapons were actually seriously considered and actually received funding. Megaton Martel for instance, seems to have been only a very basic discussion topic leading to the solid rocket powered, unguided, ballistic WE177 concept.
Could you please give a link for the Paul Lucas TSR-2 book? Thanks.
 

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elmayerle said:
sealordlawrence said:
Thorvic,

I have BSPIV, although not the Paul Lucas TSR-2 book, the difficulty I have though is establishing which weapons were actually seriously considered and actually received funding. Megaton Martel for instance, seems to have been only a very basic discussion topic leading to the solid rocket powered, unguided, ballistic WE177 concept.
Could you please give a link for the Paul Lucas TSR-2 book? Thanks.
Evan, here you go: http://www.amazon.com/BAC-TSR-2-Tomorrows-Eagle-Model/dp/0955185882

Regards,

Greg
 

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SLL: sources. I was in the Engine R&D section of MoA 1963-66 involved in what was directly funded. Power for X-12 was not. It is highly improbable that significant metal for any of these unfamiliar schemes was ever cut (though I could be unaware of power exercises funded through the platform firm, or done in RPE Westcott, or dead already).

Ministers by 1963 (Tory, not Labour) had become petrified of UK GW squander. House of Commons 59/60 Public Accounts Committee had roasted MoA on Seaslug (begun in the 1947-1949 timeframe, (to be) deployed 1962: “effective financial control was exercised at no stage (A) completely sorry story” S.R.Twigge,Early Devt of GW in UK ’40-60,Harwood,93,P225. “Final cost exceeded initial estimates by a factor of 19” Sir R.Way,MoS,J.Bruce-Gardyne,N.Lawson (yes, Nigella's Dad, the future Chancellor of the Exchequer!),The Power Game,Macmillan,76,P25. The Deterrent had been entrusted in 1955 to Avro (GW) Blue Steel: “few (contracts caused) such bitter feelings (as) even in ’56 (Avro puffed 1,000n.m. The view in MoS was that if they) could not perfect (100n.m.) how could they (do) 10xthat? (Avro Weapons Research Divn, with many ex-RAE staff:) weak management structure (criticisms) recriminations (were) common parlance” H.Wynn,RAF Nuclear Deterrent Forces, HMSO,1994, P202/4. The fix, in January,59, was for UK to join the USAF Reqt., won in June by Douglas WS138A (to be GAM-87A, AGM-48) Skybolt ALBM. In the flurry after that was chopped, December,1962, those weird Slams listed in BSP/Hypersonics were mooted, but the solution was not kite dreams but a low-risk bigger bang on the US-derived gravity WE.177.
 

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Ken,

Certainly the TSR-2 WE177B with Polaris in submarines seems like a pretty sensible solution to the UK nuclear delivery problem in the post V-Bomber period. Just to clarify, what do you mean by 'power funding'? Did the X12 ramjet get R&D funding or not?

Are you aware of any other UK strategic delivery proposals getting funding?

Thank you for your contribution, your knowledge and experience is most welcome indeed.
 

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What do you mean by exhaust? There is an advert of the time showing it in the air just after take-off but it's not particularly of high quality.

Regards,
Barry
 

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Yes, just the tail pipe. All pictures I have seen of the ground-launched Blue Water show it from the front, and all air-launched ones show it with a tail cone. I just like to know what the tail end looked like precisely (for 3D modelling purposes). The advert you mention might help.
 

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aircav said:
Is this any good ?
Fantastic, 100% better than anything I've seen till now. Many thanks!


That raises another question... are there any Blue Water missiles preserved?

It would appear at least a Cuckoo rocket motor was:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/john_field/3701321062/
 

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According to: http://fuseurop.univ-perp.fr/bwater_e.htm

The Cuckoo would not have been used? Apparently something called Phoenix, but with a 17 or 24 inch motor?

That a Cuckoo has survived is not great surprise given how extensively the type was used in sounding and trials rockets before being replaced by Goldfinch.

http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/physics/outreach/the-rockets-pages/skylark
 

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For a bit more history see this document, note how the range progressively increases. Also, the desire for a more powerful warhead, this may explain the experimental 24 inch rocket motor.

http://www.mcis.soton.ac.uk/Site_Files/pdf/nuclear_history/Working_Paper_No_1.pdf
 

JFC Fuller

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Whilst looking for information about planned RAF Lightning squadrons I came across the following document which contains the conclusions of a meeting of the cabinet about the cancellation of Blue Water, it does not contain any surprises but it is interesting nonetheless.
 

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alertken

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Pols can be, ah, selective in their memories. Macmillan, Memoirs/VI,P335: (vice Douglas MGR-1B Honest John for France (yes, really!), Italy, FRG and UK, US urged Sperry MGM-29A Sergeant SSM to) “the tune of umpteen Mn.$”; UK declined “not a European rocket. It’s a racket of US industry.” BAC Blue Water was: “a better weapon (but pressure for Sergeant) was irresistible (on) favourable terms more common (for) washing machines (8/62 forcing) us to cancel at considerable loss” (£32.1Mn.)

In fact, once UK decided to restrict SSM deployment to BAOR, then inter-operation and free US warheads orphaned any UK-solo product. We perpetuated our HJs to 1977, then took Lance on the customary washing-machine deal.
 
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